A’ Ibom @ 35: Udom flags off 300,000 coconut planting in A’ Ibom
By Isaac Job
Akwa Ibom state governor, Udom Emmanuel, has commenced planting of additional 300,000 coconut seedlings across some local government areas in the state to boost supply of raw materials for the state-owned Coconut Oil Refinery.
Speaking during the 2022 Coconut Day celebration at Mkpu, Itu Mbonuso, Ini Local Government Area, on Wednesday, Governor Emmanuel described coconut planting exercise as the hallmark of activities to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the state’s creation.
Emmanuel expressed hope that the state will become an economic hub with the availability of raw materials to boost production at St Gabriel’s Coconut Oil Factory in the state.
His words: “In all the activities to mark the 35th State Anniversary, this is one of the most remarkable, today we want to commission the first phase in this Local Government.
“Based on the survey that we have done, Ini will give us a very high yield with hybrid coconut.
“As announced all over the 31 Local Government Areas, we are planting 300 thousand coconut seedlings same time between now and 2 pm.
“Our target before I hand over the baton to the incoming governor is to plant two million coconut seedlings and before December we will meet that target,” he assured.
Governor Emmanuel charged the community to protect the project and explained that the coconut plantation will generate income for the state as virgin coconut oil sells higher than crude oil at the international market.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Mrs Offiong Offor, appreciated Governor Emmanuel for facilitating the project which she noted has been a task in increasing raw materials for the coconut oil factory.
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Dr Offor observed that as the state marks coconut day with the planting of more seedlings, many job opportunities will be created for the youths while income will be generated through the production of coconut oil.
A former Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, Dr Glory Edet, lauded the innovations in the agricultural sector by Governor Udom Emmanuel, adding that the vision to plant coconut will encourage the availability of raw materials to further boost the Coconut Factory production.
The lawmaker representing Ini State Constituency in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong, appreciated the state government for demonstrating commitment to food sufficiency.
He pointed out that the Governor has not only given the people of Ini fish, but also taught them the art of fishing.
Paramount Ruler of the area, HRM Edidem Etim Umoette, commended Governor Emmanuel for the various developmental projects put in place across the state.
The royal father noted that the huge investments in agriculture remain a panacea for food sufficiency.
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